Keidel: Mets Should Deal Noah Syndergaard, And Yankees Could Be Fitting Trade Partners

Jason Keidel
July 11, 2019 - 12:32 pm
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As “Boomer & Gio” mused over the Mets this morning, lamenting another lost season, potential deals came to mind. 

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The July 31 trade deadline is inching up on MLB clubs. The Mets (40-50) are 13.5 games behind the Braves, while only the Marlins have a worse record in the National League. So rather than tease fans with the notion of an Amazin' resurgence, it may just be time to reboot and prep for 2020. They have two untouchable young stars in Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, but they must decide what to do with what's left of their shrinking group of pitching aces that once seemed so strong and sprawling just a year ago. 

And no pitcher would get them a bigger bounty than Noah Syndergaard. They aren't dealing Jacob deGrom because of his status in the club and because of the money he makes, but Syndergaard has yet to sign his earth-trembling contract, the one that sets up an athlete and his family for life. 

Nothing would signal the end of the season like dealing Syndergaard, whom we grew to know as “Thor” because of his long blond locks and long, lean frame. It would also serve as an ominous emblem, as Syndergaard was part of that R.A. Dickey trade that began the Mets' resurgence in 2015. Compounding the pall is the fact that no one could use him more than the club across the Harlem River. The Yankees (57-31) have the best record in the AL, are favored to reach the World Series, and many feel they are one starting pitcher from winning it.

By any metric, Syndergaard has been a disappointment. With a 6-4 record and 4.68 ERA, Thor is not hurling the same hammer we saw in spring training, when he was making big-league batters look lost as they strolled back to the dugout after a slew of sizzling fastballs. Some of us - yes, yours truly - thought this was the year Thor would earn his comic-book sobriquet and contend for the Cy Young Award his pal deGrom won last year. 

Related:

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard leaves the field with trainer Brian Chicklo with a leg injury against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning at Citi Field on June 15, 2019.
Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Images

Still, Syndergaard is just 26, and we've seen how a new team can tweak a talented player's sagging sensibilities. Justin Verlander, who was much older than Syndergaard at the time, left Detroit for Houston, posted a 5-0 record with a 1.06 ERA for the Astros that summer, and has been an unquestioned ace ever since. The Mets also nabbed a midseason steal, when they dealt for Yoenis Cespedes in 2015 and rode his volcanic bat all the way to the World Series. 

The Yankees have an army of young stars - exactly the kind the Mets need to rebuild. Plus, the Bombers need someone exactly like Syndergaard, someone to plug into their leaky rotation and make them October-strong. The only doubt circling the Yankees is the fact that they don't have someone to match the one-two punch of Verlander and Cole, or Kershaw and Ryu, the kind of tandem that snags four wins in seven games. 

If the Yanks played in Texas or Missouri, a deal would be way more likely. But there's little chance the Yankees would part with any young player of import and watch him flourish in Flushing. Perhaps the Mets wouldn't even listen to the Yankees when you consider their clashing goals and eternal battle for the back page and bold ink. But each team has a need that helps the other, and an asset to make it happen. 

Not to mention the Mets are rumored to be chatting with Boston over a possible deal that would send Zack Wheeler to the Red Sox. Even as they drift farther from first place - nine games back in the AL East - Boston is always a threat to the Bronx. What better way to match their eternal rivals than to bag the better pitcher from the same rotation? To get their final piece from a former Met would only add to a dreamy, pinstriped season. 

Follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonKeidel